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What Factors Impact My Construction Schedule?

There are multiple factors that contribute to a successful construction project. Design and planning, construction management experience, and other factors outside of the project team’s control all play a significant role in a project’s final timeline and success. Since there are many, we will concentrate on the top three factors that can impact your project's construction schedule.

Not Knowing the Scope of Work

Knowing the ins and outs of the construction drawings, specification manual, and any other project-specific data is the first step in understanding your project and potential problems that could arise. A careful review will allow the team to ask the right questions, set an appropriate budget, and plan a detailed schedule that accounts for the unpredictable. This careful review extends to the subcontractors as well. If they do not have full clarity of the scope this could lead to unexpected delays.

Cost and Availability of Materials and Labor

This can potentially slow a project down or stop it dead in its tracks. The availability of material has caused long lead times and costs to skyrocket for things like lumber, metal, and even appliances. Labor shortages for all trades have affected how we build and sequence a project. Things we used to plan for are now difficult to pin down. Therefore, a good master schedule and construction estimate can go a long way in maximizing your timeline and budget to set forth the expectations at the beginning of the project.

Weather Delays

Delays caused by weather are unpredictable. Contractors typically try to plan around the “bad” seasons so that work can be completed in a timely manner, but everything does not always go as planned. A contingency plan can help to mitigate or resolve issues before they get out of hand. This may include overtime or extra labor and equipment to get back on track.

We discussed the top three factors that can impact a project's construction schedule. However, there are other factors to consider as well:

  • Number of subcontractors

  • Number of trades

  • Project complexity

  • Past construction experience

  • Changes in scope

  • Differing site conditions

  • Poor communication / collaboration

  • Errors and omissions in the plans, design documents, and specifications

  • Faulty workmanship

  • Delayed submission of submittals

All of these factors play a significant role in how a project schedule turns out. If the construction team has a clear understanding of the scope of work and develops a project schedule and budget that accounts for today’s uncertainties, then the expectations can be set at the beginning in order to deliver a successful construction project.


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